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Mistakes in customary approaches to ‘pure’ technique

“To those who are studying the art of playing the piano I suggest some practical and simple ideas which I know from experience to be really useful. As art is infinite within the limits of its means, so its teaching should be governed by the same limits in order to give it boundless potential […] So we are not dealing with more or less ingenious theories, but with whatever goes straight to the point and smoothes the technical side of the art [. . .] People have tried out all kinds of methods of learning to play the piano, methods that are tedious and useless and have nothing to do with the study of this instrument. It’s like learning, for example, to walk on one’s hands in order to go for a stroll. Eventually one is no longer able to walk properly on one’s feet, and not very well on one’s hands either. It doesn’t teach us how to play the music itself- and the type of difficulty we are practising is not the difficulty encountered in good music, the music of the great masters. It’s an abstract difficulty, a new genre of acrobatics.” -Chopin

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